Five days ago (at the time of writing this), word came through the television grape vine that director Antoine Fuqua had teamed up with Jerry Bruckheimer to find a home for a TV series adaptation of Fuqua's 2001 film Training Day (starring Ethan Hawke and Denzel Washington in an Oscar-winning role). Now, after having taken the pitch all around Hollywood, it appears that home has been found.
According to new reports, CBS has issued a pilot production commitment for the series. While no actors are currently attached, Fuqua will serve as director and executive producer on the pilot, with Castle writer Will Beall tackling the script.
Should the show go to series, it will mark the third movie-to-TV adaptation CBS has taken on including the upcoming Limitless, which will serve as a direct sequel to the film of the same name - with Bradley Cooper appearing as an occasional guest star - and a fresh take on Brett Ratner’s Rush Hour movie trilogy from Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence (unfortunately, we aren’t going to be seeing anything from that one until the mid-season).
As far as comparisons go, Training Day is going to have more in line with Limitless than Rush Hour, by the sound of it. To be exact, Variety's report on the project asserts that Fuqua and Bruckheimer's Training Day TV show "is set in the LAPD of 2015 with the series picking up 15 years after the events of the Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures film."
Perhaps the next big question is, considering that synopsis, will Ethan Hawke be up for a cameo appearance? If the TV series takes place in the same world as the film, it does seem like a possible scenario. Hawke is a known name that could certainly draw in a decent audience the same way Cooper is likely to for Limitless. In addition, he’s not so high profile that a cameo is out of the question.
While a CBS Training Day will probably lack the high maturity of the feature film in terms of language, most of what the film did should be able to shine through. As shows like The Blacklist have proven, there’s a lot that can be shown on broadcast television these days, especially if it’s at the 10 o’clock hour. So, even if the network’s three initials worry you, there’s reason to be hopeful yet for the series take on one of cinema’s modern dirty cop/crime drama classics.
Stay tuned for more information on the Training Day TV series as it becomes available.